Resistance is the perennial nearly man of the blockbuster sci-fi FPS crowd. The original suffered for being a disappointing PS3 launch title, and for looking and feeling rushed. The sequel was a vast improvement, but had its thunder stolen by the more graphically-accomplished Killzone 2 just a few months later. Now, Resistance 3 hits with a new hero, a new visual style and a gritty vision of a wrecked, Chimera-occupied America. Could this be the game to take the series to the heights of Halo: Reach or Killzone 3? 


Resistance 3

What platform is it on?

PlayStation 3

When's it due out?

9 September 2011

What other game is it like?

Halo: Reach, Killzone 3, Half-Life 2

Does it use any new tech like 3D, PlayStation Move or Kinect for Xbox 360?

Yes - PlayStation Move and stereoscopic 3D are supported.

The pitch

Take the role of mankind’s last hope and journey across a devastated American landscape from Oklahoma to New York City. Engage smarter, more agile and newly-evolved Chimeran enemies – including the powerful Longlegs – and try to survive in an environment where nowhere is safe.

The storyline

The Chimera have won. Mankind has fallen, and its last vestiges have retreated underground. But there is hope. Four years after a dishonourable discharge from military services, Joseph Capelli leaves his wife and family to trek across a ravaged America, battling the Chimeran hordes and helping to kick-start a new resistance - with a plan that might land a knockout blow on the mutant oppressors. 

Trailers, demos and video

Our first impressions

In a way, Resistance's problem has been finding its own identity. The series has always had an interesting premise - combining period settings with sci-fi trappings, and pitting alien invaders against mid 20th century technology. However, the first game felt too close to Halo meets Call of Duty, while the second, good as it was, was a bit of a magpie, with a touch of Half-Life 2 here, a spot of Halo there, and the game feeling at its strongest in its creepy alternate version of a fifties America.

It's not a problem for Resistance 3. From the trailers and demos we've seen, and now the short section that we've played, it's a game where everything has its own distinctive tone, with mankind ragged, dog-tired, on the edge of extinction, but still reaching out for one last shot at suvival. Resistance 3 takes place in an America that's a gloomy shadow of its fifties heyday, where dust and decay choke the atmosphere, and fear is everywhere. The world is grim, richly detailed and crawling with dirt and floating debris. It's the most compelling vision the series has found for itself yet.

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Like Halo: Reach, it's also not afraid to give you room to breathe. In the level we played, Haven, there are pauses in the combat, as you and your band of rural survivors make your way through the ruins, streets and junkyards of a small Oklahoma town. This makes it all the more tense when violence erupts and waves of Chimera descend on your position. And it's at this point that you remember how good Resistance's core combat can be. The Chimera are sneaky opponents, some rushing you in force, some hanging back and taking cover, and some particularly nasty little buggers scrambling around to hit you by surprise. There's a nice mix of run-and-gun and cover-based fighting, and the gunplay still hits a nice middle-ground between Call of Duty and Halo.

Resistance's most loved feature was always its exotic alien weaponry, with cool secondary file modes and ingenious means of distributing pain to your foes. Old favourites like the Rossmore shotgun, the homing tag-firing Bullseye and wall-penerating Auger return, and we can also expect a new Chimeran sniper rifle with an explosive secondary fire, and a cool 'mutator' that turns healthy Chimerans into disease-stricken landmines. And while Resistance 2 could be a bit of a party-pooper, restricting you to a couple of weapons at a time, Resistance 3 brings back the weapon wheel, so you can select anything from your arsenal at any time.

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We've got high hopes for this one. Insomniac seems committed to telling a rich story with engaging characters, and the emphasis seems to be on that rather than the more brightly-colored epic sci-fi and OTT multiplayer options of Resistance 2. And the best thing is that we only have a month to go before we can play the whole thing to its conclusion.

Please note

Gamescom is a fantastic chance to see the latest games due out over the coming year or beyond, as well as letting us get a glimpse into what is going to be the big titles and the ones to avoid like the plague.

The big problem however, is that for most of the titles that glimpse is, well, just that. At the show you'll get to play a level here or a multiplayer map there or even have a product manager walk you through a specific level.

So, with that in mind we present you with our Quick Play.

What we've done is broken down the key facts you need to know and then given you our first impressions based on around 15 minutes of gaming. For us, that 15 minutes isn't enough to do a First Look review, and especially not a review. How can you rate a game that offers over 30 hours of gaming based on just 15 minutes of play? However, it should hopefully give you an idea, a feeling, a notion of what to expect come launch day.